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Department of History and Archaeology


Spring Semester, Optional module, 10 ECTS

Instructor: Prof. em. Eleni Mantzourani with the assistance of Dr. Ioannis Voskos (adjunct lecturer)


Cyprus is a large island strategically positioned between three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa and at the crossroads of many prehistoric civilizations, such as the Egyptian, the Hittite and the Levantine to the East or the Minoan and Mycenaean societies to the West. Thus, an introductory course on Cypriot prehistory does not only offer a comprehensive knowledge of archaeology at an often-missed place; it also taps on wider issues, such as the beginnings of agropastoralism and the sedentary way of life, the first complex and urban societies, metals, especially copper, and international trade during the age of the powerful Near Eastern empires and the role of the Mycenaeans in this interaction.   

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be familiar with

  • the main sites and phases of Cypriot Prehistory
  • the main types of material culture on the island
  • the contemporary trends on the interpretation of socioeconomic evolution during the Cypriot Prehistory.

They should also be able to

  • understand and deal with different problems of archaeological information
  • exercise a productive critique on various interpretative approaches of the material record
  • participate in an open dialogue expressing their own views on key-issues of the prehistory of Cyprus
  • study and work individually and in groups.


Essay (3,500-5,000 words). A list of indicative topics is provided within the course but students are strongly encouraged to discuss and personalize the essay topic with the course instructor. In addition, students may be asked to study select bibliography papers and either discuss them in class or write short reviews (500-1,000 words).


Mantzourani E., 2001 (2006 2nd edition). The Archaeology of Prehistoric Cyprus, Athens: Institut du Livre - Kardamitsa Editions. (in Greek)

Karageorghis, V. 2002. Early Cyprus: Crossroads of the Mediterranean. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Karageorghis, V. 2006. Aspects of Everyday Life in Ancient Cyprus: Iconographic Representations. Nicosia: A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Steel, L. 2004. Cyprus before History. London: Duckworth.

Knapp, A.B. 2013. The Archaeology of Cyprus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.